Judge orders Eric Trump to comply with New York AG’s subpoena before Election Day
A judge in New York on Wednesday ordered Eric Trump to comply with a subpoena from the state’s attorney general in the coming weeks, rejecting an effort from the president’s son to stall a deposition until after Election Day.
New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron read his ruling from the bench after a lengthy virtual hearing, saying there was nothing to support Trump’s effort to delay.
“This court finds that application unpersuasive,” Engoron said. ”Mr. Trump cites no authority in support of his request, and in any event, neither petitioner nor this court is bound by timelines of the national election.”
Engoron said Trump must comply by Oct. 7.
The New York attorney general’s office is investigating whether the Trump Organization, of which Trump is an executive vice president, has been illegally inflating its assets in order to get tax breaks and attract investors.
The attorney general’s office went to court last month seeking an order to compel Trump to sit for a deposition and for the company and its associates to hand over documents that had been subpoenaed.
Engoron also ordered the Trump Organization to provide documents that it had been withholding related to valuations of its properties.
Trump told the court last week that he was willing to sit for the deposition as long as it took place after Election Day, citing a busy travel schedule on the campaign trail.
Trump, who has criticized the investigation as a politically motivated attack on the president and his businesses, said on Wednesday he would sit for the interview.
“The New York Attorney General has called my father an ‘illegitimate’ president and pledged to take him down while she was running for office,” Trump said in a statement after the ruling. “Her actions since demonstrate a continued political vendetta and attempt to interfere with the upcoming election. That said, since I previously agreed to appear for an interview, I will do so as scheduled.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) hailed the ruling.
“We will immediately move to ensure that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization comply with the court’s order and submit financial records related to our investigation,” James said in a statement. “To be clear, no entity or individual is allowed to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or set the parameters of a lawful investigation. The court’s order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump.”
The attorney general’s office opened the investigation in March of last year after Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney, alleged in congressional testimony that his estranged boss had been inflating his assets.
James’s office has not concluded its investigation nor revealed whether its discovered illegal activity in President Trump’s business dealings. The judge on Wednesday ordered that documents obtained in the probe remain sealed.
Updated 4:03 p.m.